Jawniyya Was Not Prepubescent, But a “Woman”

Some missionaries are so desperate and dirty minded that they resort to lies and deception to degrade the impeccable character of Prophet Muhammed (p).

Related article: Muhammed Did Not Raise His Hand To Hit Jawniyya

A critic showed two reports in which he lied to degrade our noble Messenger, the reports can be seen below:

Narrated Abu Usaid: We went out with the Prophet to a garden called Ash-Shaut till we reached two walls between which we sat down. The Prophet said, “Sit here,” and went in (the garden). THE JAUNIYYA (A LADY from Bani Jaun) had been brought and lodged in a house in a date-palm garden in the home of Umaima bint An- Nu`man bin Sharahil, and her wet nurse was with her. When the Prophet entered upon her, he said to her, “Give me yourself (in marriage) as a gift.” She said, “CAN A PRINCESS GIVE HERSELF IN MARRIAGE TO AN ORDINARY MAN?” The Prophet raised his hand to pat her so that she might become tranquil. She said, “I seek refuge with Allah from you.” He said, “You have sought refuge with One Who gives refuge. Then the Prophet came out to us and said, “O Abu Usaid! Give her two white linen dresses to wear and let her go back to her family.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 63, Hadith 182)

And here is the other version from the same Book:

4956. It is related that Abu Usayd said, “We went out with the Prophet until we reached a walled garden called ash-Shawt and we went to two walls and sat down between them. The Prophet said, ‘Sit here,’ and went in. The JAWNIYYA WOMAN had been brought and lodged in a house in the date palms of Umayma bint an-Nu’man ibn Sharahil. SHE (jawniyya) HAD with her wet-nurse who was her governess. When the Messenger of Allah came to her, he said, ‘Give yourself to me.’ She replied, ‘Can a queen give herself to a peasant?’ He stretched his hand to her to calm her and she said, ‘I seek refuge with Allah from you!’ He said, ‘You have sought refuge with the Refuge.’ Then he came out to us and said, ‘Abu Usayd, give her two long white linen garments and take her back to her family.’”
4957. It is related from Sahl and Abu Usayd, “The Prophet married Umayma bint Sharahil. When she was brought to him, he stretched his hand to her and she seemed to dislike that. Therefore he commanded Abu Usayma to prepare her and give her two white linen garments.” This is reported from Sahl ibn Sa’d. (Aisha Bewly, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 71. Book of Divorce)

From the above reports the missionary made the claim that Muhammed asked a prepubescent girl in marriage. This is incorrect, as she is described as being a “woman”, and was a widow before.

Jawniyya known name was Asma bint Al-Numan bin Abi Al Jawn, but was called ‘Jawniyya (Jauniyya).

When we read the reports, it says that Muhammed made his way to Jawniyya, she had been staying in a house of Umayma. She (Jawniyya) had with her a wet nurse, the Prophet spoke to Juwaniyya.

The missionary from here on tries to claim because a “wet nurse” was with Jawniyya then that proves she was “prepubescent”. All the while ignoring the report saying that Jawniyya was a “woman”. A wet nurse being at the house does not equal to her being prepubescent or a child.

We have a few reports show that Jawniyya was already married before. Her husband had died, and Prophet Muhammed (p) had married her. Basically, she was a “widow”.

We have another report that shows that Muhammed (p) was speaking the woman:

“Nu’man bin Abi Jaun al-Kindi embraced Islam and came to the Messenger of Allah, and said; ‘Shall I not MARRY you to the most beautiful WIDOW in Arabia? She was married to the son of his uncle who has now died. She is WIDOWED, IS INCLINED TOWARDS YOU AND WANTS TO MARRY YOU. So the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, married her giving five hundred dirhams of dower. He (Nu’man) said, ‘Please do not reduce her dower.’ The Messenger of Allah replied, ‘I haven’t set up dower of any of my wives or daughters more than this.’ Nu’man said, ‘In your example is a good model. ’ He (further) said, “O Messenger of Allah send to me one who brings to you your wife, I will accompany him and send back your wife with him.’ So the Messenger of Allah sent Abu Usaid al-Sa’di with him … Abu Usaid says, ‘I stayed with them for three days, then I bore her on the camel with covering in a sedan and brought her to Medina and made her to stay with Bani Sa’da. Women of the tribe came to her and welcomed her and as they left they made a mention of her beauty. And the news of her arrival spread in the whole of Medina.’ Abu Usaid said, ‘I turned to the Prophet, may Allah bless him while he was with Banu ‘Amr bin ‘Awf and informed him of her arrival. She was the most beautiful amongst WOMEN, so when the women (of Medina) learnt of her beauty they came unto her. ONE OF THEM SAID TO HER, ‘YOU ARE A QUEEN, IF YOU WISH TO BE CLOSER TO THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH, THEN SAY TO HIM WHEN HE COMES TO YOU, ‘I SEEK REFUGE FROM YOU’, (THIS WAY) YOU WILL BECOME ADORABLE TO HIM AND HE WILL BE MUCH INCLINED TO YOU.’“ (Tabaqat al-Kubra volume 8, page 114)

In the same page, Ibn Sa’d narrate’s another version with the woman’s (Jawniyya) name:

AL-JAUNIYYA SOUGHT REFUGE FROM THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH, for she was told this word will make her adorable to the Prophet. No one other WOMAN SOUGHT REFUGE FROM HIM. This was a deception to her because of her beauty. When those who made her to say this were mentioned to the Messenger of Allah he said, ‘They are like the women of Yusuf and their treachery is great.’” (Tabaqat al-Kubra volume 8, page 114)

Facts from the above reports:

1. Jawniyya woman was married before and was a widow.
2. The “wet nurse”, it is plausible that she was there maybe feeding Jawniyya’s kids or others, as she may have not had milk herself.
3. She was not prepubescent, she was a “woman”, as the reports clearly state.
4. The words used in Sahih al-Bukhari, “Give me yourself”, was understood by classical scholar Hafiz Ibn Hajr to mean:

“His words, ‘Give me yourself’ were to put her at ease and to SWAY HER HEART.” (Fath al-Bari volume 9, page 360)

Hafiz Ibn Hajr continues by explaining those words that were used was not a marriage proposal nor did the Prophet (p) request to get married without dower:

“And this is supported by the narration of Ibn Sa’d that he had agreed with her father on the amount of her dower and her father had told him, ‘SHE has liking for you and WANTS TO MARRY YOU.’” (Fath al-Bari volume 9, page 360)

So we see from the above reports that the person Prophet Muhammed was speaking to was Jawniyya (Juaniyya), a woman, who was a widow before. She was already married to the Prophet (p). She was not a prepubescent girl as some critics claim, the evidence refutes this malicious lie. She is clearly described in the reports as being a “woman”.

TURNING TABLES

Let’s see what the Bible says in regards to prepubescent marriages.

When we look into the Bible, we find passages that do approve pre-pubescent marriages. One of the most prominent examples is of Numbers 31:

Jubilee Bible 2000 – “But all the FEMALE CHILDREN that have not known a man by lying with him keep alive for YOURSELVES.” – Numbers 31:18

Webster’s Bible – “Translation But all the FEMALE CHILDREN that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive forYOURSELVES.” – Numbers 31:18

Living Bible (TLB) – “Only the LITTLE GIRLS may live; you may keep them for YOURSELVES.” – Numbers 31:18

The Christian exegesis for the Bible state that such girls could be taken in marriage.

Whedon’s Commentary on the Bible:

Verse 17-18.
The little ones — The object of the command to kill every male was to exterminate the whole nation, the cup of whose iniquity was full. For the righteousness of the mode see Joshua 6:21, note. Every woman who might possibly have been engaged in the licentious worship of Peor was to share the fate of the male children, to preserve Israel from all taint of that abomination. The pure maidens could be incorporated into Israel without peril to the national religion. Joshua 6:23-25, notes. They could not be treated as concubines, since the law against fornication was in full force, (Deuteronomy 22:25-29,) but they could be LAWFULLY MARRIED TO THEIR CAPTORS (DEUTERONOMY 21:10-14). (Whedon’s Commentary on the Bible – online source)

 

Peter Pett’s Commentary on the Bible:

Numbers 31:18
‘But all the women-children, who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.’ But the young women children were a different matter. THEY COULD BE TAKEN IN MARRIAGE or as servants and would expect to accept the religion of their new husbands or masters. They would gradually be merged into Israel. Compare Deuteronomy 21:10-14. They would not feel the same responsibility for blood vengeance which was mainly incumbent on the males.(Peter Pett’s Commentary on the Bible – online source)

 

NIV: The New American Commentary – An Exegetical And Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture:

“… Only the young girls would be allowed to live SO THAT THEY MAY BE TAKEN AS WIVES OR SLAVES by Israelite men, according to the principles of holy war (DEUT 20:13-14; 21:10-14). By this they could be brought under the umbrella of the covenant community of faith. (NIV: The New American Commentary – An Exegetical And Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture: Numbers, [Copyright 2000 – B& H Publishing Group] By R. Dennis Cole, volume 3b, page 499)

It is quite evident from the context of the Bible, specifically Numbers 31:18, it allows/permits marriages with females who have not hit puberty.

More importantly, we need to ask, what do these verses from the Bible say about a book which permitted Moses’s and his men to be attracted and have sex with prepubescent girls? Would you call such a verse (Numbers 31:18) sent by God?

Related Articles:

Child Marriage In Ancient Israelite Times

12 Year Old Mary’s Marriage To 90 Year Old Joseph The Carpenter

Age Of Consent In European And American History

Bible: Isaac’s Marriage To 10 Year Old Rebecca?

Does Numbers 31:18 Sanction Pre-Pubescent Marriages

Jacob’s 7-year-old Daughter Dinah, Married to Shechem

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